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From Michael Vennera <>
Subject RE: XML-Based Reporting Application, Design?
Date Wed, 20 Aug 2003 16:26:26 GMT
I've also built a reporting app using Cocoon, using
XSP to pull back the data from Oracle and then
transforming it into either a PDF report or a CSV
file. A couple of tips from my experience:

- If your report includes any grouping, order your SQL
query by those fields. That way you can use an
<xsl:for-each> and compare each row to the previous
one to determine when you have a new value. (Much
simpler than the Meunch method)

- Rather than using svg, you can create a simple
histogram by setting the height attribute of a series
of bar images imported via <fo:external-graphic>

- If your reports are large, there are a couple of
things you can do to improve efficiency: (1) use
XSLTC, (2) keep the XML generated by the XSP as lean
as possible, (3) keep your XSL-FO as small as possible
by placing formatting attributes as "high-up" in the
element hierarchy as possible.

Hope this helps,


--- Scott Warren <> wrote:
> I have done something very similar. I used XSP to
> generate a "document"
> then used various stylesheets to output html, xls
> etc. This worked very
> well. I didn't use anything other than Cocoon to get
> the data. It's fast
> and the very flexiable. A PDF output would be great
> but time/money
> stopped us from doing that. Also there is talk in
> the future of having
> Graphs in the reports later on.
> Regards
> Scott Warren
> Ocom Software
> ... Exceeding Quality.....
> email |
> web |
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Sexton [] 
> Sent: Wednesday, 20 August 2003 9:30 AM
> To:
> Subject: XML-Based Reporting Application, Design?
> We'd like to built an application that uses data
> from a database to
> create
> XML, which can be transformed to various forms.  A
> significant amount of
> coding will be required to create the XML (otherwise
> I'd just place SQL
> in
> an xsp), so I think a separate servlet will make
> more sense.  My thought
> is to create a servlet that outputs type text/xml,
> call the servlet from
> a
> sitemap, transform and serialize as needed.
> This leads to some specific design questions...
> 1) Best why to build an XML document in the servlet?
>  JDOM?
> 2) Is there a better way to tie together the cocoon
> pipeline with the
> data source than having a URL called in the sitemap?
>  Afterall it will
> all be running under the same Tomcat...
> We're very happy with the way Cocoon has worked for
> other, simpler
> applications.  But for this one we perhaps should
> look at more advanced
> features.  And we have not done any significant
> amout of XML generation
> from java, so I'd like to hear some about how others
> are doing this.
> Thanks!
> -----
> The ODS Companies
> Jeff Sexton
> Information Services
> (503) 228-6554   x1024
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